Pause. London in lockdown

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photobook by Jan Enkelmann

“A chance to see the city in a way few of us would have experienced before.”
— Glen Wilson, Southbank Centre

On the 23rd of March 2020, the evening the lockdown was announced in the UK, I was on my exercise round, cycling through an already deserted London. I was experiencing the city as I had never seen it in the 20 years I have been living here.

I decided that taking the camera on my nightly cycling tours was a safe way to document different parts of the city without endangering myself or others.

Initially, I felt compelled to document the lack of crowds in places that are usually buzzing with people. It was just such an astonishing and unusual sight.

But looking at the images I have made, I sense they have taken on a life of their own. I feel my photos are less about the lack of human presence, but rather about the stillness of a city being allowed a breather, to reveal a beauty that usually goes unnoticed.

Between the end of March and early June of this year, I made over 15 excursions with my bicycle, documenting a deserted London during the coronavirus lockdown.

I made my trips in the evening – the time I usually went out to do my daily exercise – and captured the city at dusk, between around 7.30pm and 10pm. I chose days where the weather was great and the skies clear, to get a consistent and coherent look across the series.

I started photographing in the West End, but then began to visit other areas all over town. From King’s Cross to Camden Town, from Victoria to Vauxhall, the Southbank and Bankside, the City and Brick Lane, Brixton, North Greenwich and beyond.

My images show many well-known sights and attractions, but I also captured some lesser-known and obscure corners of London in a way you have probably never seen them before.

For the book, I have selected 84 of my favorite images.

  • Hardcover
  • 148 pages
  • 22.0 x 29.0cm
  • English
  • Printed litho 
  • Finishing: Thread Sewn, Case Bound
  • Edition of 500
Weight 1.3 kg
Dimensions 36 × 24 × 3 cm
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